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Things to Keep out of the System – Class

This podcast is a class taught by Bryan: Things to Keep Out of the System. He covers some installation best practices along the way to keep contaminants and non-condensable gases out of the system.

We want to keep air, water, dirt, copper shavings, solvents, and nitrogen out of an operating system. All we want in an operating system is the appropriate oil and refrigerant for the system. Unfortunately, the POE and PVE oil we mostly use in residential systems nowadays are very hygroscopic; they attract water, and POE mixes with water to form acid, another thing we want to keep out of the system.

We can pull most of the moisture out of the system by pulling a deep vacuum and following the best practices for a fast and deep evacuation. However, we can also reduce the probability of moisture getting into the system in the first place by NOT working on copper while it's raining outside, sealing the copper tubing adequately when routing it underground or in a chase (a common installation practice in Florida), and insulating it properly.

Dirt can easily get into the system when we're modifying piping, especially when adding fittings or reaming, but we can use nitrogen or line set cleaners to flush it out. Purging the lines and flowing nitrogen while brazing also help keep air and water vapor out of the copper lines. When deburring, try to avoid letting the burr or copper shavings from falling into the tubing.

Bryan also covers:

  • Drawbacks to running copper underground
  • Oil return and miscibility with refrigerant
  • Flowing nitrogen without a regulator
  • Leak detection and nitrogen pressure testing
  • Why we should ream or deburr copper to prevent leaks
  • Being able to trust your equipment

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